In my previous post, I described about the unique stinky tofu available at Shenkeng District in Taipei. Besides the smelly tofu, there is in fact some other cool things to see at Shenkeng. So while you eat your tofu, do check out the rest of the village at Shenkeng as there are many random things to see there!
Shenkeng was formally a agricultural and mining town. In fact, Shenkeng in Chinese actually means deep pit or sunken ground, as it used to be a huge area for coal mines. Now it is mostly a sleepy village built around tourism and the tofu industry. The main artery of the village is the Shenkeng old street. As mentioned before this street is currently undergoing renovations (at the time of writing) to give it a facelift. Here you will see some old buildings that are nicely perserved.
Shenkeng old street – note it is undergoing renovations at the time of writing.
Some visitors taking a stroll down Shenkeng old street.
Many vendors along the road selling various items.
Besides smelly tofu, there are other snacks you can try as well at Shenkeng. One of the interesting things we saw was a snack called “zhu xue gao” which literally translated from Chinese to English as “pork blood cake pudding”. Despite its gruesome sounding name, it tasted quite okay. It was actually made with some kind of mixture of sticky rice and pork blood and topped with fresh nuts and parsley. It was kind of chewy, salty, and sweet all at the same time.
The pork blood pudding cake.
Another cool place we saw was a unique store in a beautiful historical building selling fresh ice cream made purely out of soy. A single cup serving is about 30 Taiwan Dollars (only 1.00 USD) and makes for a great healthy snack. I ordered the original soy flavour, while my wife ordered the black sesame flavour. Both flavours were quite good, not too sweet, and the ice cream was nice and soft.
Store in Shenkeng selling the soy ice cream. Very historical building.
Signboard for the soy ice cream shop.
Original soy flavour ice cream.
What the original flavour looks like.
Sesame flavour ice cream.
What the sesame flavour ice cream looks like.
As you continue to walk through the Shenkeng old street, there are numerous other shops selling everything from soup tonics, to hand crafts. The atmosphere at Shenkeng definitely has a rustic charm to it. Combined with the historical buildings and mountainous backdrop it makes for a great break from the hectic city life in Taipei city.
More shops all around Shenkeng old street.
Very relaxed pace here at Shenkeng. A good break from the hectic city life in Taipei.
Tonic soup vendor.
One of the few hand craft shops.
Vendors selling other food stuff.
The local temple distracted by the on going construction work.
The mountainous backdrop.
Visitor’s Information to Shenkeng:
Location map from where you board the bus from Muzha MRT station to get to Shenkeng.
1.) You first take the MRT subway train to Muzha MRT station. Get off at Muzha station.
2.) There is only one exit at the train station, so head out there.
3.) Walk down the street from the subway station until you see the OK mart (it is a convenience store)
4.) Cross the Street and right in front of the OK mart is a bus stop.
5.) Take bus # 660, 666, or 819
6.) Ride the bus and ask the bus driver to stop the bus at Shenkeng. If you don’t know Chinese, just politely ask to stop at “Shun Kung”
Location map of Shenkeng District
Area highlighted in Green is where the bus will drop you off (in front of the cafe 85 C shop).
Area highlighted in Red is Shenkeng old street.
Have you been to other interesting villages in the world? Please share some of your unique experiences below!